I had the honor of briefly meeting J-1 and hearing him play back in August at the Terrace in Pasadena as they headed out on what was to become one of Dam’s most sucessful tours to date. Coming highly recommended from the almighty Houseshoes, J-1 did not disappoint. He was such a gracious human being who clearly had proper upbringing in his life, not to mention a powerful self-taught gift for drumming that was unbelievable and obvious upon finding your ears. J-1, who had worked with
MANY talented artists in the Los Angeles music scene, had just started to break through on several levels and finally have his talents showcased. His beat tapes he released on Heavyweight Production House had somehow found their way to Questlove, and with him teaming up with Dam-Funk… it just felt like win.
He stood out in a crowd, stood strong in a great tour filled with talented musicians, and made an already wonderful show even better.
I promised myself I would make the effort to see them again if my schedule permitted. However, it didn’t.
Then he was gone.
And that burn of wishing for someone who is supposed to be here right now, but isn’t…. started hitting my soul slowly.
I avoided talking about this for a while simply because the shit was unsettling. With the loss of Heavy D (I tried to write a post about him and broke into tears; I will be COMPLETELY forthright), a wonderfully influential woman named Marie P. Strickland (an old School Principal of mine) and recent drama in general, I’ve been coming to terms with death in a real way (not to make it about me, I’m just saying. death is a bitch). I couldn’t even approach the subject of J-1. I didn’t know how. Despite those wonderful passing moments at The Terrace, I didn’t feel like it was my place to speak on his life; he was far too great for my feeble little words to describe. It was already hard enough to watch friends have to deal with it.
However, it was the command of Houseshoes that I wrote this post on this amazing man and shared what I knew with you because frankly, his talents, legacy and spirit deserve it. Even though it feels like there is so much more he had left to give this Earth, he did manage to leave the best part of himself with us; the best of memories and his music. It’s what we have to hold onto.
Respect to Dam, Houseshoes and anyone else who knew this man.
Rest peacefully Jovan Coleman. Clearly you are loved and you will not be forgotten.